"The first time I really became aware of the extent of Miss D.'s fame was when she was honored with a festival of her films at the Los Angeles County Museum. I had been on sets with her and had been enlightened by her fan mail, but I had never attended a public function with her. I was in the wings when she walked onstage, and more than a thousand people rose and gave her a standing ovation. I'm sure my jaw dropped. I saw Miss D. in a different light: That's the woman I work for, the one with the pretty hats, who likes to keep busy around the house, cooking, setting the table, arranging the flowers, dusting the furniture she has collected over a lifetime and has moved across the country more than once. I got chills watching her. There is something about Miss D. when she steps onstage—almost a physical transformation. She seemed to grow larger in front of my eyes. It was like watching one of those body-building contests, where a contestant looks fairly average one moment, enlarged the next.
I was amazed at how bright and quick she was, tossing off answers to questions from the audience with complete spontaneity. One woman asked if she was disappointed that she was not considered on of the 'glamour girl' movie stars. She responded quickly: 'Wouldn't it be a rather meager ambition if that was all one strived for?' The audience roared....
One lady asked if she would tell some ‘juicy’ stories about actors with whom she had worked. ‘Oh, can I,’ she replied, ‘but not on your ninny will I.’
She became my role model, whether by design or accident or just closeness I just can’t say.” -Kathryn Sermak—Bette's assistant of eight years and her beloved friend—in This ‘N That 💙